Possible cover up by the Roman Catholic Church

I started this over in GQ and decided to sort of move it here because of the nature of the question.Given the fact that there are inaccurate historical records of the time period (9th century Rome) and the possibility of hiding one’s gender under heavy robes,was it possible that there really was a female named Joan Ingelheim (or whatever her last name happened to be)masquerading as John Anglicus who became pope of the Roman Catholic church?
If you think this is more fable than fact, give me reasons why you think so.
Or…prove that she existed.
I’m interested either way.


Um…actually, YOU are the one who should be providing evidence. Not to be rude, but that’s how GD works. It isn’t for someone else to disprove you.

As noted in the original thread:

There are no gaps in the records of the papacy (and the pope, Benedict III, who held the Holy See at the time that “Joan” was supposed to, is fully attested in the historic record).

The first mention of “pope Joan” occurred over 400 years after she had supposedly existed.

The story of “pope Joan” was debunked by a Protestant in the seventeenth century–a period when many Protestants and Catholics were frequently willing to make up wild stories about the other group.

So, why should anyone believe that such a story had any basis in fact, other than a personal desire to mock the RCC?

I have no desire to mock the almight RCC.They could squash me into oblivion and praise the Holy Mother while they were doing it.
The reason there are no ‘gaps’ in the papacy is because the church attempted to cover it up.A woman pope would have caused much anguish for the menfolk and perhaps started an uprising among the women.Remember at this time women were treated as chattel and weren’t allowed to learn how to do anything other than ‘woman stuff’ like sewing,cooking,housework and the like.Reading,writing and math were OUT of the question.Having the proof that there was indeed a female pope would have shown that the Church is not totally infallible,as they would have you believe.


I’m pretty sure that Pope Joan authored The Protocols of the Elders of Zion from her secret headquarters inside the Hollow Earth. :rolleyes:



Then why this thread?

Mocking comment, isn’t it?

Care to prove any of that?

Care to prove any of that?

Care to prove any of that?

Please explain how there were women at the time who actually did read, write, and even do math.

(a) How could this person, who could read and write & perhaps even do math, be a woman if such a thing was out of question for women at the time?

(b) Do you have even the tiniest inkling of what Infallible refers to in regards to the Roman Catholic Church? It certainly doesn’t mean what you pretend it does.

Finally: Why didn’t you put this in The BBQ Pit? You have shown you’re not interested in debating the issue.

Meaning that in the Middle Ages, the legend of Pope Joan made a perfectly handy little morality tale about what happened to an uppity woman, bright as she may be, who dared to rule over men.

How about a cite for:

Any coverups or “gaps” in the history. Or any proof of any such coverup. If your only “proof” is that it’s likely, that’s no proof at all and a logical fallacy to boot.

I’d also like some cites for how women were treated in this time period, and what the church was like at this time.

p.s. ResIpsaLoquitor’s comment to you was a very good metaphor indicating that you’re no different than any other anti-Catholic bigot who’s not interested in debating your wild assertions maligning that church.

At least, that’s how I read it.

I think it would be helpful if you could post your best evidence for your case. I had a brief passing interest in this story while studying Catholic history in college, but everything I found in trying to research it seemed to debunk it pretty soundly, basically for the reasons stated by tomndebb. I couldn’t find anything solid to corroborate it at all. I can also tell you that that the Master, himself has called the story false. I don’t have a dog in this fight at all. It wouldn’t bother me a bit to find out that there had been a woman Pope. I was actually sort of disappointed to find out the story was bogus, but facts is facts.

And before it happens, IDBB: “everybody knows that…” is insufficient in GD.

He’s…<buzzlightyear>mocking you</buzzlightyear>.

Here’s the more or less official Catholic view of Joan.

Here’s an interesting link.

Before this goes spinning out of control and is forced into the Pit, I’d like to point out that

  • I-D-B-B has not made any slams against the RCC in either of the threads, beyond the repetition of certain assumptions about medieval society in general,
  • this thread was begun at my suggestion because I thought that the GQ thread had run its course on the evidence. (The Pit did not occur to me for the simple reason that there was no evidence of a rant or a slam in the question–it just seemed that I-D-B-B- was continuing in the direction of a debate after the information had been presented.)

I don’t think we need to treat this as Catholic bashing–only as a debate with a certain lack of support for one side–so I see no need for head smacks or insults. (YMMV, obviously.)

It could prrovide an opportunity to demolish certain preconceptions regarding medieval society, however.

I am a catholic and I can assure you that there was a woman pope, she married Prester John and had one children the man in the iron mask (who lived to an absurd age)

Assurance, eh? Around here, that usually entails a citation or two.

Res, I’m pretty sure the sound you just heard was a long whoooooOOOOOOOOOooooosh.

…in retrospect, I see your point. :smack: